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Make a Monthly Content-Marketing Check-In a Must-Do Without a regular review, you won't be able to take a strategic approach to your efforts, and if you don't understand where you're at, you can't create a clear path for where you're going.

By Aaron Agius Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

William Iven | Unsplash

A monthly content-marketing check-in gives you the opportunity to measure the success of your campaigns. Without a regular review, you won't be able to take a strategic approach to your efforts, and if you don't understand where you're at, you can't create a clear path for where you're going.

Entrepreneurs that fully invest in content marketing will generate an abundance of data as their campaigns grow. It's crucial that you have a plan for analyzing these numbers and making adjustments to your efforts along the way.

Content marketing is a dynamic effort. You'll want to test different things and see what works and what doesn't. The only way to truly know that is through regular check-ins.

Review progress of overall goals.

Start the check-in with a brief review of your overall goals. Your content-marketing team should have set these initial goals in the beginning of your efforts.

Content Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing

Goals are important because they set the baseline for all other analyses. For example, an increase in traffic doesn't have value if there isn't a business goal to measure it against. But if you knew that your overall goal was an increase in monthly revenue, you can measure your financial results against your traffic to see if you're on track with your goals.

That said, things change. Make sure to reevaluate your goals once a quarter to be sure they're still applicable.

Related: How to Use Content Marketing to Build a Brand with Purpose

Measure traffic changes.

Review your traffic and see how it changed compared to last month. If you're investing in content marketing, you'll want to see that your efforts are continuing to bring in new traffic from different sources. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • Which traffic source increased/decreased?
  • Did any product launches or events create a large bump in traffic this month?
  • Have we recently done a trade show, mailer or other marketing campaigns that could account for the increase in traffic?
  • Have we started or ended any prominent partnerships with industry leaders?

Try to find the reason for any major shift in traffic. It will help you evaluate what's working and what isn't.

Recap campaign performance.

Look at how your content-marketing efforts have impacted your marketing performance overall. Specifically, you'll want to analyze:

  • Traffic to landing pages from content-marketing efforts, such as blogging or guest blogging.
  • Lead-generation numbers compared to last month.
  • Results of A/B tests on content-related items such as call-to-action copy on blog posts.
  • Conversion rates and traffic from social-media campaigns.

You'll learn a lot when you evaluate your content marketing against your other digital-marketing campaigns, as doing so will help you see the true impact of your efforts.

Look at your content-marketing landing pages.

For the most part, you'll be creating landing pages focused on lead generation. These types of landing pages typically include a form that aims to convert viewers to email list subscribers. But there are other types of landing pages as well.

In content marketing, you can develop things such as resources pages and in-depth guides that serve as landing pages. If you've developed this type of content, evaluate its success.

Look at metrics such as the number of social shares, traffic increases or decreases, conversion rate and new leads acquired this month. Knowing this data can help you evaluate whether this type of content works with your audience. If it does, you can make plans to do more of it in the future.

Related: How Much Should Your Content Marketing Really Cost?

Identify top-performing blog posts.

Some of your blog posts will out-perform others. Identifying the types of posts that are performing best on your website gives your team special insight. You can use this information to guide your future topics, hone in your buyer personas, direct your marketing team and locate opportunities for blog-post optimization.

Specific metrics you can use to gauge success include:

  • Number of views
  • Conversion rate
  • Number of social shares
  • Number of comments
  • Keyword rankings

I particularly like this part of the check-in because it directly correlates to the type of content that resonates with your audience. The more you can narrow down those topics, the better.

Track social-media impact.

Content marketing is great, but it won't accomplish much if you don't promote it. Social media is one of the main ways many marketers promote their content. Review how much traffic is coming from your social-media channels. Also, measure how many people arrive on your site and then share your content to their social profiles.

I've found that it's one thing for someone to retweet my content. But it's far more valuable if I get them to my site and they share it themselves.

Establish opportunities for the upcoming month.

Once you have all this information, it's time to make plans for the upcoming month. I like to ask myself a few questions:

  • Should I alter my strategy based on this month's findings?
  • Are my content-marketing efforts serving my business goals? If not, what adjustments should I make to realign my efforts?
  • How can I make sure that next month's results are better than this month?

These simple questions set the stage for my next month of marketing. Sometimes I'll make radical changes. But most of the time, it's the small tweaks, adjustments and tests that create the lasting impact.

Are you measuring content marketing on a regular basis? If not, make plans to implement monthly check-ins such as these as soon as possible. The fate of your success depends on it.

Related: 6 Resources Content Strategists Could Use to Find New Ideas

Aaron Agius

Search, Content and Social Marketer

Aaron Agius is an experienced search, content and social marketer. He has worked with IBM, Ford, LG, Unilever and many more of the world's largest and most recognized brands, to grow their revenue. See more from Agius at Louder Online.

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